Getting to Know You: AmeriCorps VISTA Edition

In late August, we welcomed a new member to the IBP Team. Charla Hamilton is serving as a member of the Plantory’s AmeriCorps VISTA network and coordinating our Books as Bridges and Local Donations Programs this year.

We asked Charla a few questions and this is what she had to say–

1. What drew you to work in a nonprofit?

Growing up in eastern Kentucky, I noticed the effects of poverty at an early age. Living in poverty for the entirety of my life, and attending Berea College, I learned that poverty can affect far more than your income level. I’ve always been interested in community service and community development and the nonprofit realm seemed like the best place to lend my skills and talents, all while helping me work toward the eradication of poverty, both in America and abroad.

2. Why the International Book Project?
I love big books and I cannot lie. I carry a book with me everywhere I go, so I jumped at the chance to spend my days in a warehouse full of them. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been insanely curious about the world around me. Working with IBP allows me, almost daily, to learn and connect with others around the world.

3. What’s your favorite part of your job?
I have a pretty sweet office set up and regular access to coffee. Aside from those things, I really like interacting with the community and seeing firsthand the impact that books can make in the lives of others.

4. What’s your favorite book and why?
That’s a tough one, but I’d have to claim George Orwell’s Animal Farm or East of Eden by Steinbeck as all-time favorites. I remember reading Animal Farm in school when I was younger and absolutely loving it. Re-reading as an adult, I liked it even more. It’s a fun book, but it also hints at some serious issues too. And East of Eden is simply one of the greatest stories ever told.

5. What’s your favorite children’s book and why?
Peter Pan is easily my favorite children’s book. From a young age, it instilled in me a sense of wanderlust and childlike imagination. The characters have always been incredibly easy to relate to and the adventures have become classics.  As I’ve grown into an adult, I try to keep my own Peter Pan spirit alive and well.

6. Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
I have always wanted to visit India. The multitude of cultures is so intriguing to me and I would love to be able to experience it firsthand.

7. If you could have any super power for one day, what would it be?
Easy question- I’d definitely choose teleportation. I hate wasting time between destinations.

8. Unlimited happiness or unlimited money?
I’d like to think I would choose unlimited happiness. As long as I feel happy and the people around me do too, money won’t worry me.

9. What advice would you give to your 10 year-old self?
Don’t be so hard on yourself, kid. Not everyone can be good at sports.

10.  What was the greatest television show of all time?
Doctor Who.

BONUS: What celebrity should play you in a movie about your life?
If I had a time machine, I’d want it to be Rita Hayworth. I’d also accept Emma Stone because she’s my idol.